Jack Harrison relishing Leeds United test at Arsenal and assesses Whites' prospects of FA Cup progression

JACK HARRISON believes anything is possible in Monday night's FA Cup clash at Arsenal as the Manchester City loanee's second season at Leeds United continues to go from strength to strength.

Sunday, 5th January 2020, 11:55 am
Updated Sunday, 5th January 2020, 12:25 pm
FLYING: Leeds United's on loan Manchester City winger Jack Harrison. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.

Harrison weighed in with three assists and four goals during last term's first season-long loan at Leeds but the 23-year-old already has six assists and five goals for the current campaign.

Continuing the trend of starting every single league game this season, the former England under-21 international made it a half dozen of assists for the season when setting up United's equaliser via a Patrick Bamford header and Semi Ajayi own goal in the 1-1 draw at West Brom on New Year's Day.

FA Cup duty now awaits in Monday's FA Cup clash at Arsenal who sit 17 points and seven places behind Harrison's parent club City in the Premier League.

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For Harrison, the fixture will mark a first competitive test against Premier League opposition and the winger cannot wait to test both his and his side's mettle against the Gunners.

"I think it will be a good experience and challenge," said Harrison.

"It will be interesting to see what happens.

"Obviously, it will be a tough game, but if we continue playing our football and style of play, you never know what could happen."

United's football over the first 26 games of the campaign has the Whites sat top of the Championship in the bid to make fixtures against the Gunners a regular league occurrence from next term.

Harrison, meanwhile, now sits joint-seventh in the Championship's assists charts with only Reading's John Swift, Milwall's Jed Wallace, Sheffield Wednesday's Barry Bannan, Barnsley's Alex Mowatt, Bristol City's Niclas Eliasson and West Brom's Matheus Pereira having more. Pereira and Eliasson have ten apiece with Mowatt, Bannan, Wallace and Swift on seven.

"It is something I wanted to do from the start of the season - have more of an impact on the games if selected," said Harrison, assessing his own improved form this term.

"I am trying not to get too complacent and ahead of myself and all that stuff and will keep working hard and doing what I am doing every day and hopefully the results will come and the stats will come with that as well."

Asked if he had been doing anything differently, Harrison reasoned: "I did a lot of work in the summer, looking at a lot of video and working with the analysts as well and it has helped me to understand the game a bit more as well. It's about keeping that belief as well.

"I was a bit unlucky last year at times with opportunities and stuff. I am grateful that it has all worked out so far this year."

Just as Leeds too are grateful for Harrison's improved contributions, and especially so top scorer Bamford.

As Harrison continues to take high rank in the Championship's assists charts, Bamford too continues to make inroads in the golden boot race with the Whites forward joint-eighth.

Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic leads the way with 18, followed by Brentford's Ollie Watkins with 17 and then Hull City's Jarrod Bowen on 16.

Nottingham Forest's Lewis Grabban sits on 14 with Huddersfield Town's Karlan Grant and Sheffield Wednesday's Steven Fletcher both on 12. One above Bamford, QPR's Nahki Wells is on 11.

For Leeds, Harrison and Bamford has often proved a winning combination and the City loanee is a big fan both of Bamford's talents and leadership qualities.

Asked if Bamford was becoming a leader, Harrison said: "Definitely. He is playing a big role in the team this year and scoring goals and coming up with important moments.

"It is good as we have got the depth throughout our team, it is not just Patrick, but all the players who are capable of coming out with the impact on the game."